Beer Bellies Forever

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Anchor Brewing Co. – Old Foghorn: A Barley Wine Style Ale

In Barley Wine Ale, Reviewed by hazelk on March 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

Reviewed by hazelk

Packaging: This ale is sold in a 6 pack of retro styled 12 oz bottles. The label has a charming musical feel to it, boasting that this beer hails from San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company. The story of the ale appears on every bottle – I always love when they do this.

Appearance: Rich caramel coloring with a healthy head of froth. Chose to pour in a brandy glass as I have only ever been served barley wine in a brandy glass. I have no idea if this is how brandy wine is supposed to be served but I think it adds a much deserved decadence to this barley wine style ale.

Smell: Malty, slightly candied smell. I don’t mean to be weird, but there’s some definite banana going on. Smells delicious.

Taste: A delightful caramel flavor with clear sherry undertones. It’s the love child of an exquisite barley wine and a fine IPA.  Having had the pleasure, years back, of imbibing a thick rich barley wine made by a local brewery, I am elated to have now found the more casual ale version of such a treat.

Overall: Definitely worth the $15 for the 6 pack.

Grade: A


Firestone – Double Jack Double IPA

In Double IPA, Reviewed by hazelk on March 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

Reviewed by hazelk

Packaging: Arriving in a lovely amber 650ml bottle, the packaging is classy and fairly minimal, with a textured cream colored paper embossed with a bronze banner. Also, the lion and bear posed like fighting Irish keeps it somewhat whimsical and softens any pretentious tones.

Appearance: Rich amber coloring with some deep red undertones and a healthy head full of froth.

Smell: Exquisite. I’ve never been to paradise, but now I’ve smelled it.  It’s a floral smell, perfume like, with playful citrus moments and the underlying hint of hops.  If you bought it simply for its scent, there’s no judgement from me.

Taste: A hearty hop flavor clings to the back of my throat. It’s meant to be savored, in spite of its lightness. There is a definite floral taste that is welcomed in all its weirdness.  The light grapefruit adds a nice bit of sourness. It’s a complex taste full of surprises. The more I sip at it, the further I’m lead down the maze to chase its mystique.

Overall: Terrific IPA. This beer is an absolute flirt.

Grade: A

Rogue – Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

In Oatmeal Stout, Reviewed by hazelk on March 21, 2011 at 12:05 am

Reviewed by hazelk

: Who wouldn’t want to sip on good beer while participating in a revolution? Rogue’s appealing packaging excites the activist in all of us. With each bottle displaying a smart faced beer drinker with a raised fist, I feel more solidarity every time I take a sip.

Appearance: This beer is a deep espresso brown with a caramel colored froth of medium thickness.

Smell:  The smell is hard to describe. It’s a grainy coffee oat-like smell and…is that hazelnut? I can’t be sure. I think I’ve smelled so many delicious oatmeal stouts in my time. It’s like trying to compare the different aromas in two apple pies. Grainy coffee oat like hazelnut smell will have to do.

Taste:  Crisper than I expected. Certainly crisper than I’m interested in for a stout. It’s not as creamy as most oatmeal stouts and I don’t hugely mind because it’s a stout in any case. Full bodied with a heavy after taste. Burnt chocolate, coffee taste that seems a bit dense, but with just the perfect hint of smoke. Strikes a soothing balance between the smoke and the grain flavors.

Overall: It’s a bit light for an oatmeal stout so you won’t fall asleep drinking two. Perfect drink companion for revisiting your favorite Shakespeare works.

Grade: B+